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Celiac Disease and Gluten Free Diets

Celiac Disease and Gluten Free Diets

Celiac disease, also known as gluten-sensitive enteropathy, celiac sprue, and nontropical sprue, is a disease affecting the small intestine and prevent proper absorption of certain nutrients. This deficiency can cause various health complications. People with celiac disease aren’t able to process foods with gluten in them and therefore need to survive on a gluten-free diet. Gluten is the protein found in barley, wheat and rye and people with Celiac disease will have a reaction similar to the protein Gluten being a toxic chemical.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

A variety of symptoms are associated with Celiac disease such as gas, recurring bloating and abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss or gain that is unexplained, fatigue, mood swings, pale or foul smelling stools, bone or joint pain, anemia, itchy and rashy skin with blisters, muscle cramps, numbness in your legs, osteoporosis, mouth ulcers, delayed growth, and tooth discoloration.

Gluten-Free Diet

If you have been diagnosed with Celiac disease, you will be instructed to follow a gluten-free diet. This includes a wide variety of foods including corn, flax, garbanzo beans, buckwheat, arrowroot, millet, nut flour, legumes, potatoes, quinoa, rice, seeds, soy, wild rice, most meats, nuts, peas and beans, fruit and fruit juice, any type of vegetable, tofu, most dairy products including milk, cheese and yogurt, most beverages including soft drinks, alcohol, tea and coffee, butter and margarine, sugar, jam and jelly, honey, olives, and black pepper.

Foods to Avoid

There are many foods to avoid that contain gluten. The following foods and ingredients may not be bad for the average person, but can cause pain or adverse health conditions when you have Celiac disease. Gluten foods to avoid include barley, bran, bromated flour, couscous, enriched flour, matzo meal, malt flavoring, malt vinegar, orzo, panko, phosphate flour, plain flour, rye, self-rising flour, semolina, all kinds of wheat including spelt, emmer and einkorn, udon, wheat germ, bran and starch, cracked wheat, beer, breading, brown rice syrup, caramel color, communion wafers, croutons, dextrin, dry roasted peanuts, dairy substitutes, gravy, herbs, imitation seafood, licorice, luncheon meats, seasonings, salad dressings, most soups and bouillon cubes, soy sauce, and many vitamins and supplements. Non-food items containing gluten include toothpaste, postage stamps, lipstick and lip gloss.

Avoid Cross-Contamination

It can be difficult living with such as a strict nutrition regimen when the rest of your family eats and enjoys foods made with gluten. However they can still eat gluten products as long as you’re careful to avoid cross-contamination in your kitchen. To do this, always wash bowls, utensils, cups and cutting boards after being used with gluten-rich foods and ingredients. Try using a separate toaster or toaster oven for your gluten-free bread products, use squeeze jam, condiment and butter containers to avoid bread crumbs, don’t allow double dipping of snacks, and make separate spaces for your gluten-free foods in the cabinets and refrigerator.
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